Commuting through Canberra – worth it?

I’m sitting in a transit lounge in Canberra Australia writing this, so here’s my trip experience.

Singapore Airlines have a Capital Express flight from Wellington New Zealand, via Canberra Australia, to Singapore. It’s flying one of their well-worn Boeing 777-200 planes, which is the largest regular plane flying to Wellington.

The boarding experience was a little confusing, which was surprising, considering it was the only international flight leaving Wellington Airport at that time. The gate staff seemed flustered, which was also surprising, since it was still the only flight. Maybe they just don’t get a lot of practice.

What I don’t understand is, why do people crowd around waiting to jump onto the plane? These days everyone boards in groups, and normally you don’t board until your group is called. Except for those people who pretend like they don’t understand how groups or numbers work, and turn up straight away to board, regardless of any process.

Anyways, onboard the plane, it’s really spacious. Before I flew I checked out Seatguru for Singapore’s 772 plane. For Economy, it recommended row 31 since there’s lots of legroom. Turns out there’s massive amounts of legroom. With my legs fully outstretched, there was still another foot or so before touching the wall in front. Just amazing. And the seats were a good width too.

However, you could see that the plane was old when you used the In Flight Entertainment System. The screen was no bigger than my outstretched hand, was not a touch screen, and oh yeah, the back of the controller was a portable telephone. A telephone! When I viewed the Flight Information, it looked like I was watching an old VHS video tape recording of Flight Information that had been dubbed off a mate, and copied onto this tape. It was woeful. As was the sound system, the mids were really loud, but there was no bass or treble, which makes Meghan Trainor sad.

What made me happy was the food. Peanuts to start with, then pulled pork as a starter, followed by lamb stew with fresh peas, carrots, and potatoes. I don’t even like peas and I liked these ones!

Here’s a pro tip – you can ask for cocktails on board. The signature one is a Singapore Sling. It’s pretty strong, and awfully red.

Landing in at Canberra 4 hours later, it’s not a long flight. It’s long enough that I started to get tired, but considering it departs again at 11pm Canberra time, there’s really not much point to sleeping on board this stop. Next stop is Singapore, 8 hours. But would I fly this way again? Yes! I think it’s a good way to break up a long trip.